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Letter: Tax Cap Is Really A Budget Cap

Governor Andrew Cuomo and our state legislators have stated that with the passage of the 2 percent tax cap, Long Island homeowners finally have what they wanted: A means to control exorbitant property taxes increases.

What we have is an imbalance between those who have, taking from those who have not. As reported recently, the Qualcomm CEO received $35 million in 2011, an increase of $24 million more than he received in 2010. The Starbucks CEO got $41 million in 2011 and “only” $29 million in 2010. The take home pay of CEO’s grew at least 10 percent in 2011.

Why are we punishing the teachers and rewarding the Wall Street “greed is good” executives? The recession of 2008 decimated the pension funds of government employees. Unethical tactics by the market manipulators caused the pension fund problem. Legal action should have been taken to recover the loss of pension funds from those responsible for the stock market meltdown. Instead, we punish the employees who are invested in the fund and have no input on how it is operated.

Not just teachers on Long Island are being penalized. All government employees in counties, towns and cities have been adversely affected.

Current government and teacher retirees are typically self sufficient and rarely need social services. However, future government and teacher retirees, because of reduced pension and health benefits, will need the assistance programs. Those government employees who have recently been laid off immediately impact social services. This simply causes further budget cutbacks in the counties, towns and cities.

The 2 percent tax cap is not a tax cap. It is a 2 percent budget cap that determines the tax levy. When many of the Long Island homeowners receive a school tax bill of more then 2 percent, they will realize that is not what they wanted or deserved.

Tony Mignone